Monday, February 28, 2011

oscar night

It was Oscar night.  We planned to attend our usual night church and watch them when we got home. I found some popcorn bags and decided I'd make some fresh popped popcorn to enjoy later. A friend had some decorations that completely fit the occasion. I didn't even think about decorating but it created a much stronger sense of fun. Funny how a few decorations can do that. Normally, I tend to only "decorate" with company in mind. But how special to decorate only for our own family.

We enjoyed a truly lovely evening together.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

baking bread

My E-friend Angel introduced me to Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day via her blog.  All I can say is WHOA!
I baked the heart shaped twisted loaf you see above for another tea I hosted. It was so delicious.  I know it could have been better, considering this was my first go at it, but it was still so good.  I mixed up the basic batch recipe & it produced the loaf you see above, a baking dish full (a dozen?) of cranberry-white chocolate cinnamon rolls and enough to make a rectangle pizza!

And it really was *that* easy.

The tea went well.  Everything was delicious.  Sometimes I overwhelm myself with the idea that I need to make, bake & have on hand, so much...for tea.  Really though, I'm finding simple is best. The to-nearly-die-for cinnamon rolls and chocolate-chocolate chip loaf were more than enough. I also had assorted valentine chocolates set up, a bowl of cranberries and voila'!

 I've realized, one of my goals this year is to host tea at least once a month...

Everything was absolutely lovely.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux


Saturday, February 19, 2011

it doesn't take much

It was time for another tea. I've determined that I will host one a month this year.....and see what happens.  This was entitled: After Valentine's Tea.  In honor of my most favorite holiday. I even held back a bit for it, which was hard.  I kept feeling like I should and could "do more". 

The menu consisted of cranberry-white chocolate chip cinnamon rolls, chocolate-chocolate chip bread, (both from scratch) various chocolates from the lovely heart-shaped box of chocolates I received, m&m's--on clearance, extra cranberries, and tea of course. Half was set up in the living room area.  Tea, cranberries and cinnamon rolls were on the dining table.

Very simple, yet lovely still.

I pulled out my valentine table cloth and runner, cake stand and double-tiered rack.  Well, to be honest, those items are pretty much part of my every-day decor. ;-)
If you want to host tea, no need to stress or over do it.

Simplicity is key.
Simplicity is lovely.


Monday, February 14, 2011


Valentine's is my most favorite day of the year.  Budgets are always a challenge though, aren't they?  To combat that challenge we made dinner at home.  I simply purchased some frozen bread dough (home made would have been cheaper but I was unprepared) and after it thawed, I rolled it out and cut it into heart shaped pieces.  Everyone was involved in creating their own personalized pizza.  We even cut the pepperonis into heart shaped pieces!  It was a big hit and my kiddos are asking for the same thing tomorrow night.

I love decorating cupcakes! It's so easy to make that small cake look impressive, even for the novice.  I did use a boxed cake mix this time but I made the icing from scratch---oh it was super yummy too!  I usually purchase my cupcake sprinkles after major holidays to get that clearance price, so I have quite a collection.  I have a few piping tips, you really don't need a huge collection for creative results from a non-professional. I piped the icing on top in a heart shape and then my middles chose sprinkles.  I also made chocolate chip cookies and my kiddos shaped those into hearts too.  

It's not that hard to make a day special and festive.  It does not even require a lot of money.  All you need is some creativity and love!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It's always such a pleasant surprise when we look out our kitchen window and catch a glimpse of a bluebird.  They come around every year when it's nearly spring. Today was our first spotting of the year and season.  There were two of them.  They are such beautiful creatures and lovely to look at. Imagine such creativity, when God created all things, to choose such vibrant colors, on the feathers of a bird.

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Gen. 1:21

Creation is lovely to behold.